New Titles For Old Problems

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined.

—LUKE 5:37

Americans have an interesting habit of taking old problems and giving them new, more palatable titles. For example, I remember the time I was talking to a woman who was struggling with an indiscreet rendezvous. I questioned her as to what exactly was an indiscreet rendezvous and discovered she was involved in adultery. I then explained how giving a new title to an old sin did not make the sin any more acceptable, but in fact made the sin more dangerous, for in the Bible we find forgiveness for adultery but nowhere discover forgiveness for indiscreet rendezvous.

In the same way, much is written today on the topic of shame, and indeed, many are struggling with shame issues such as might be created by an alcoholic parent, embarrassing events from the past, humiliating circumstances, or abuse of one kind or another. Some are happy to point out shame in the life of others, but of course when they are questioned as to how deliverance comes, the response is a hearty, “Learn to deal with it!” When questioned further as to how one might “deal with it,” the answer becomes very vague or calls upon a personal strength not possessed by the person who landed in the counselor’s office. No one really, absolutely knows how to deal with shame until we begin to dissect shame as another name for pride. It is impossible to have shame where there is not pride, for shame’s roots are in pride. By giving pride the new title of shame, it does not sound so bad. In fact, it sounds like those struggling with shame are actually victims. But this new name not only allows for escape from personal responsibility but also makes an answer to the problem elusive. Stick to the proper name of shame and the Bible has plenty of advice to offer. Pride is not from God, and He is all too happy for us to receive His love that overcomes it (I John 2:15, 16). Shame is dishonor, but that is what pride brings, dishonor. “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).

Life is Jesus! Life is not increased or decreased by what has happened to us. When we look for life in a place other than Jesus, we will find shame. Why? Because of pride. We must be alert as believers. The unbelieving world continues to introduce concepts to us through the back door. Psychologists do not believe in the concept of sin and therefore busy themselves retitling it so man will have excuses. However, God has an answer for sin and retitling excludes His answers. It simply is not true that Jesus died in 32 AD and no one was helped until Freud came along!